Edible Flowers: 15 Blooms that You Can Eat

Flipping through the pages of a magazine treats you to a glossy imagery of dishes tastefully garnished with edible flowers. For centuries, these flowers have been gracing the tables across many cultures, not only making food look palatable, but also enhancing the flavors of recipes in a very interesting way.

Although it’s definitely not a new fad, you can’t help but be surprised to see a wide range of flowers that are actually safe to eat. If you’re curious to know what flowers exactly you can add to your salads, soups, desserts, and dishes, this infographic enumerates some of the blooms you can eat. It also identifies which parts of the flowers are edible and provides tips on how they can be prepared for cooking.  

Edible Flowers: 15 Blooms that You Can Eat

Did You Know? The use of flowers in cooking dates back thousands of years ago.  Since then, many cultures use these blooms in their traditional cooking to add color, texture, fragrance, and flavor to their dishes. The range is endless.

1. Pansy Pansies are distinguished by its minty and subtly grassy flavor. They are often mixed in summer cocktails, fruit salads or infused in desserts such as this delectable vanilla ice cream.

2. Red Clover Your grandmother may have a fond memory of eating these faintly bean-like tasting flowers. Aside from being a childhood treat, it is also often tossed into salads or brewed into tea.

3. LavenderLavenders have a scented, sweet taste that works best when the buds are added to refreshing drinks. They also look beautiful when garnished with a naked cake along with a slice of lemon and sugar.

4. Hibiscus – Delicate and sweet, hibiscus or gumamela flowers taste a bit like cranberry. They make a great treat when made into sweet and crunchy candy flowers.

5. Purslane – Purslane flowers have a slightly sour and salty taste that is a cross between spinach and watercress. They can be added into salads either raw, sautéed or boiled.

6. Calendula – When sautéed in olive oil, calendula flowers taste like saffron thus, its alternate name the poor man’s saffron. They add a slightly spicy taste to deviled eggs and savory pies.

7. Chamomile – these sweet aromatic flowers are often used as a herbal tea that tastes slightly like apples. It is said to lower stress, aid sleep and soothe the stomach.

8. Rose – Rose petals lend a sweet flavor with subtle fruity undertones. They have a wealth of uses ranging from flavoring drinks to garnishing dishes and desserts such as this crème brûlée. Ode à la rose provides some rose recipes to start you with.

9. Borage – The star-shaped flowers of the borage plant subtly taste like cucumber. It is why it’s often used to flavor lemonades and cocktails or tossed into salads to add color.

10. Dandelion Dandelion is entirely edible. Its buds have a distinct honey-like flavor that makes a good wine. Its petals can also be used as finishing touches for pastas and seafoods.

11. Lilac – Lilacs are often infused with honey, sugar and other syrups to add a slightly bitter and floral taste. They can also be garnished with pastries and desserts.

12. Sunflower – Although its seeds are a typical snack, sunflowers are actually safe to eat from roots to petal. Its petals can be added to salads or garnished over desserts for a burst of color and a bittersweet kick.

13. Violets – Violets are often used in salads, along with its tender leaves. They are often candied and used for embellishing desserts such as this beautiful cake.

14. Squash Blossoms –The bright yellow flowers of the squash plant have a slightly sweet taste. They are typically enjoyed when stuffed with herbs and cheese or as toppings for pies.

15. Nasturtiums – These flowers have a sweet, peppery taste that is a cross between a radish and watercress. It can be used to add flavor to savory dishes or to garnish garden salads.

Safety Precautions

Sure, as lovely as eating flowers may be, it can also be a little dangerous. So before putting them on your plate and making them a part of your meal,  be sure to follow these tips to ensure safety:

    • Only eat flowers that you’re sure are edible.
    • Only eat flowers that were produced organically.
    • Wash flowers thoroughly before consuming.
    • Thoroughly wash all flowers before you consume them.
    • Eat only the edible parts of the flowers.

These flowers are sure to add color to your food. But, if you also love the look of fresh blooms on your table, you can always order flowers online!

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